North Caucasus: politics, society and human rights – Update 18/11/23

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On 13 November, at the tender age of 18, Akhmat Kadyrov (son of Ramzan Kadyrov) was appointed deputy minister in the regional government. He has joined the republic’s Ministry of Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Policy. The announcement was made by the Speaker of the Chechen Parliament, Magomed Daudov, on his Telegram channel. The arguments put forward were the physical prowess of Akhmat Kadyrov, who is said to be “an athlete“, as evidenced by a tournament he won in mixed martial arts and boxing. Beyond all the symbolism associated with this appointment, a deputy minister has many responsibilities and is an integral part of the Chechen political system.

By becoming deputy minister, Ramzan Kadyrov’s son has given himself the start of a career. Just 18 years old, he was informally knighted by Vladimir Putin last March. Akhmat Kadyrov is the eldest of ten siblings. However, he is not the only one to have been thrown into the political bath in recent days. His younger brother, who is better known to the media: Adam Kadyrov, was appointed on 5 November as head of the republic’s security department. Adam Kadyrov has been in the news recently. He physically assaulted a prisoner, Nikita Zhuravel, who was guilty of burning a copy of the Koran. His father, Ramzan Kadyrov, filmed the scene and broadcast it. Although public opinion condemned this scene, Adam Kadyrov received numerous awards and several titles for his act.

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